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How to sharpen the heel of knives with no sharpening choil?

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  • #56261
    Sean
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Hi, pretty new to WE sharpening ~ 40 knives on my WE130. My issue is that I cannot reach the heel of knives with no sharpening choil. This is especially evident when working up to 3000 grit, 1.4 and 0.6 micron ceramic, and 4 and 2 micron diamond emulsion. I get an excellent mirror polish on the entire blade except the heel because the stone physically can’t contact it. This is most noticeable on my Spyderco knives. Does anyone have a solution?

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    #56265
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 2421

    This is a regular subject of discussion on this forum every now and again.  Here are a couple previous threads, I found for you, where we tried to help that forum member with your same issue. I found these searching “sharpening choil on the wicked edge”. There are other threads you’ll be able to find too, with a properly worded Google search including the key words, “on a wicked edge sharpener”

    In essence you are removing the steel at that transition so you don’t have to sharpen right up against the choil or the ricasso at the knife’s hinge section.

    How do you handle the Plunge?

    Sharpening solution to handle a Spyderco PM style choil/plunge?

    Here are a couple YouTube Videos on the same subject.   They speak to how to add the choil or the sharpening Ricasso, in general.  After which you should be able to clamp then sharpen the knife with the W.E..  There are a lot more videos to be found, also with a properly worded YouTube search.

    Adding a sharpening choil.

    What is a sharpening Choil?

    Cutting a Choil.

    Take what need from each video and forum thread and apply it to your actual situations on the knife you have this same issue with.  Don’t get hung up on the specific knife or knife brand but look at the blade characteristic and the situation they’re looking to overcome.

    Another method some W.E. users have done is to take the plastic handle sharpening stone to a grinder or a sanding belt and remove the plastic lip surrounding the outside of the sharpening stone’s flat mounting surface.  This is a bit drastic IMO, it is permanent, (but so is adding the sharpening choil to your knife blade).  It does allow you to get the edge of the sharpening stone plate tighter into the that choil area.  Still that may not let you get as close as needed and the side edge of the stone may unwantedly scratch the steel in that transition area.

    Both methods require you exercise care and pay attention to what you’re doing. Hope this helps you figure out a plan of attack for this common issue you will certainly see if you sharpen enough knives.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #56266
    Sean
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Mark, thank you for the thorough reply as always. I am still figuring out the best methods for finding specific information on this forum. I have the ability to add a choil with my files, but I would prefer to leave the blade shape factory. I wasn’t sure if WE or someone on here sold a set of rods (pointed or rounded) to reach into that area.

    Really, I don’t love either solution (modifying my knives or my stones). However, not being able to reach that last portion bugs me even worse. I will have to decide what to do. Thanks.

    #56268
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 242

    I would take the knife apart and reclamp the blade. Maybe that will work?

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    #56273
    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 567

    I would take the knife apart and reclamp the blade. Maybe that will work?

    Doesn’t look like taking it apart will help. The plastic of the WE stone handles will still hit the blade near the finger choil.

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    #56274
    Sean
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Apologies Marc! My auto-correct on my phone apparently prefers to spell your name with a K.

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    #56275
    Sean
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    Correct, unfortunately. I take a lot of my Kershaw/ZT knives apart to sharpen because the stone will hit the scale and that works well. But with Spyderco, a lot still have issues because the actual blade has extra thickness either from the pivot or the finger choil.

    #56276
    Sean
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 5

    I would take the knife apart and reclamp the blade. Maybe that will work?

    Unfortunately, the finger choil is part of the blade and not the scale so this won’t do anything. But taking the knife apart does help with other knives (seems to help with Kershaw/ZT). Thank you anyway.

    #56281
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 2421

    Sean, another option maybe to use Whetstones to sharpen knives with that issue.  Due to height and shape of the stone they stand up above the plastic lip on the W.E. paddle.  The whetstone profile, height and shape would allow you to get in closer to that tight shape transition between the blade and the choil.  I believe these will work for you without the need to permanently alter the blade or the stone plastic handle.

    Here are photos of tall new whetstones:

    Shaptons-Pro-Stone-End-View
    Shapton-Pro-Stones-profile-1

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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